George Mason University Interim Provost and Executive Vice President Mark Ginsberg announced July 1 that Aurali Dade will serve as interim vice president for research, innovation and economic impact. Currently associate vice president for research and innovation, Dade will assume her new position on Aug. 1 and continue until a permanent successor is identified following a national search. Rebekah Hersch, assistant vice president of research development, will serve as interim associate vice president for research and innovation.
“Aurali has a wealth of experience as a leader and researcher, and I am very pleased and appreciative that she will lead our Office for Research, Innovation and Economic Impact during this period of transition” Ginsberg said. “Her experiences are impressive and consequential. I am grateful to her for stepping into this role. Her views on the importance of and dedication to research, combined with her appreciation for and deep of understanding governance structures, is invaluable.”
Dade succeeds Deb Crawford who on May 12 was named vice chancellor for research at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Crawford will remain at Mason until she assumes her new position on July 31.
“I am delighted to take on this role to support the Mason community in our aspirations related to research, scholarship and creative works, and our engagement with local communities and partners,” Dade said. “I look forward to working closely with the colleges and my colleagues in Research, Innovation and Economic Impact to continue to pursue our goals of elevating research, supporting research of consequence, and serving as a community builder.”
As associate vice president for research and innovation, Dade has been responsible for developing and implementing university strategy for fostering a dynamic, supportive and growing research ecosystem.
Dade provides leadership for the Research and Innovation Initiatives team, which includes programs, offices, centers and institutes that are focused on supporting, connecting, communicating about, and convening researchers internally and with external partners.
Earlier in her career at Mason, Dade served as the inaugural executive director of the Institute for a Sustainable Earth where she worked collaboratively with the Mason research community and external partners to develop strategy and design operational structures that elevated and supported research focused on sustainability and resilience. She also served as associate vice president for research development, integrity and assurance and assistant vice president for research compliance. Prior to joining Mason, Dade served in leadership roles at large public universities.
Dade has a PhD in environmental science, an MS in biology, and a BS in environmental biology. She has taught university classes focused on ethics, risk, environmental science, and biology. Dade has served as the principal investigator (PI) and co-PI on grants focused on enhancing the research enterprise from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and private foundations. She has published articles related to research administration and integrity, sustainability, and biology. She also served as the lead editor of the book “Implementing a Comprehensive Research Compliance Program: A Handbook for Research Officers.”